BARBERTON, OH – The Barberton Magics came into Week 7 undefeated as they took on the St. Vincent – St. Mary (SVSM) Fighting Irish at home. For Barberton High School, it’s Senior Night and a chance for the graduating class to standout. One senior for Barberton certainly did.
With six minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Magics led the Irish 14-0 after two long touchdown strikes from QB Zane Ries to WR Garrett Turnbaugh. The first, a 38-yard touchdown strike that set the tone for the Magics heavy airstrike. The second touchdown, set up by the first interception from RB/CB Jeffery Parker, a 50-yard pass with a diving reception from Turnbaugh that turned the heads of fans, coaches and scouts alike.
RB Terrance Keyes, Jr. was a workhorse for SVSM on Friday night, pushing through the line to give the Irish their first touchdown of the game. A touchdown that, at 14-0, was more or less necessary to keep the Irish in the game.
Even with Parker’s one-yard rushing touchdown, which brought them up to 21-7 after the PAT, the Fighting Irish were still able to live up to their name. After a few back-and-forth series’ where neither team was able to get into the opponent’s redzone, a quarter perhaps highlighted by Keyes’ 45-yard scamper, the Irish scored with 11.4 seconds left in the second half (a 17-yard pass from QB Luke Lindsay to WR/LB Zach Olson) to bring the score within a touchdown.
In the second half, the game continued to be as hard-fought it was during the second quarter, with neither team scoring until two minutes were left in the third quarter.
However, Magics LB Mason Haywood recovered a fumble from the Irish, their third turnover of the game, right after a 12-yard touchdown pass from Ries to Olson put the Magics up 28-14. Soon after, the game started to get out of hand. In the fourth quarter, Ries threw another 50-yard touchdown strike, his third connection with Turnbaugh that ended in the endzone. This score put Barberton up 35-14 with nine minutes left to go in the final quarter.
With a three touchdown lead, Magics head coach Tony Gotto opted to change his offensive game plan and run the ball more frequently than he had at any point of the game. With just a few minutes left in the fourth quarter, running the ball and running out the clock would enhance the chance of Barberton winning. The Irish would receive the ball with 3:23 left in the fourth quarter and, down by 21 points, not much chance of winning.
The Barberton Magics are now 7-0 as the St. Vincent – St. Mary Fighting Irish fall to 5-2.
Player of the Game – Quarterback Zane Ries could easily receive Player of the Game honors but senior wide receiver Garrett Turnbaugh made a sensational diving catch and quite a few yards after the catch that said otherwise. Ries would finish the game with four passing touchdowns and zero interceptions while Turnbaugh finished the game with three receiving touchdowns.
Quote of the Game – “We are for real I think, but a lot of people are still going to doubt us and that is OK because we will take it week-by-week and worry about Tallmadge next, then Kent and then Highland.” – Barberton quarterback Zane Ries. (Per Michael Beaven of the Akron Beacon Journal).